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tv   Nightline  ABC  March 5, 2012 11:35pm-12:00am PST

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mproving. tonight on "nightline" -- the survivors. as twister after deadly twister touched down, those with the right combination of grit and luck cam through the chaos forever changed. tonight, the woman who lost her leg to save her kids as their house blew apart. mommy nearest. holding your baby practically all the time. breastfeeding into the preschool years. even swearing off diners. is this healthy? are they well-intentioned roads to parenting hell? and wild about harry. that red mop. that impish grin. the world is prince harry's oyster. tonight, we join the planet's most eligible bachelor on a
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royal tour of the caribbean. good evening. i'll bill weir. you see the aftermath. one house standing, while the neighbor's are turned to kindling. much more predictable is the protective nature of a mother when her children are in the path. of all the incredible survival stories, tonight, we meet the mother who lost her legs, saved her kids. here's abc's matt gutman. >> go away from us! >> reporter: with that monster bearing down, the voice fired prayer skyward. a mystery woman praying this tornado away. just one of an historic assaults of twisters chewing up the
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heartland. 140 of them reported in a single day. 76 confirmed. a record for march. >> that is just amazing. >> reporter: 39 people killed by these churning storms. going through indiana, kentucky, ohio, georgia and alabama. >> oh, no! get back! there it is. coming over the hill. >> reporter: countless others fleeing helter-skelter in cars, on foot. >> go on, go, get out, get out! >> reporter: this man scuttling into a basement in west liberty, kentucky, compelled to watch. >> oh, my god. no, no, we're all right. we're all right. >> reporter: in indiana, surviving and saving. when her house wasn't enough to protect them, stephanie decker shielded her children with her own body.
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>> i love my chirp. goes beyond anything else in this world. >> reporter: even giving up her legs for them. as the tornado bore down, she acted, dashing with 8-year-old dominic and 5-year-old reese into the basement. the house being sucked away around her. protecting them with her body. >> i put both of them in there and i tied the comforter and my daughter -- mom, i don't like this. i said, i no, honey. from the windows i could see the wind. i could see it blowing. then the window blew out. >> reporter: with debris crashing around them and on her. >> they had to have me so i had to figure out what to do and my son is a hero. he went to go get help. because i knew i was cut but i didn't really know. and then when i opened up and looked at it, i realized that either i'm barely attached or it's completely severed. >> reporter: both her legs crushed. they were amputated late friday. but her children unscathed.
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all that's left of this house, the foundation. >> we built it, our dream house. that's where we were always going to be. she was like just whenever they do the concrete, we want to make sure we have the kids there to put their hand prints because we want them to know this is theirs. >> reporter: imprinted in indelible concrete, a testimony to the family survival. reese and "d" for dominic. >> in retrospect, that -- it's just a house and, you know, we'll be fine. everything else will be good. we can always do more hand prints. >> take this storm away from my home. >> reporter: that woman compelled to pray with phones down and electricity out, we couldn't call charlotte hall, so we went house to house looking. >> we watched it form and then as that monster, as i would refer to it, is above us, i began then to pray. >> reporter: knocked the porch right off? >> i watched it go.
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i held the door and the pressure was hitting it. i had to keep praying. i had to keep praying. there was a storm. the storm hit not just me but, like you said, everyone. i had to prayer. i wasn't afraid of it. >> reporter: it worked. her house intact. not so for doris shuck, mother of two, who has no doubt she should be dead. >> oh, it's unreal. >> reporter: this is what's left of her house. >> it picked it up, turned it upside down and then dropped it. >> reporter: she crouched in the basement on her knees, hands protecting her head, eyes sl slammed shut. >> i was right here in this area. as you can see, the blocks have just fallen all the way around where i was. i do know when it was over, i had to pull myself out. i think i might have been -- >> reporter: these are heavy. >> they are. >> reporter: i can't even imagine. >> i said, i have to get out of here. there's probably going to be a gas leak. i could see it was total devastation of the whole town. >> reporter: she was whisked to the hospital. an hour later, her husband richard, frantic, made it home, screaming her name. >> i mean, i told the people i
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was with, i don't know how i'm going to tell them their mom's gone. i thought, there's no way nobody could live through that. >> reporter: but they did. and lived to hug again. >> i love you, mom. >> me too, baby girl. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm matt gutman in west liberty, kentucky. >> and they'll be much more with stephanie decker, that mother, on good morning america tomorrow. thanks to matt gutman. coming up, the hand that mocks the cradle. would you, could you, hold your child virtually every minute of the day? inside the world of attachment parenting next. [ male announcer ] that. right there -- reminds you
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in a world when caveman diets and barefoot running are fads, guess it's no surprise some are drawn to the most primal form of parenting. skills developed when the threat of wild animals was much greater than choking on a goldfish cracker. it may seem natural but could you, would you, hold your baby almost every waking moment and breast feed for years? and is it healthy in the modern age? abc's juju chang tonight examines attachment parenting. >> not just touch like this. okay. i'm going to keep time. >> reporter: mayim bialik parents in a way that makes the rest of us look like slackers. >> how do you say --? shred. >> reporter: she's the poster child for attachment parenting. a growing movement that believes we need to return to extremely attentive bonding where parents are attached to their chirp at all times. >> let's start with baby wearing. that to me feels like you're
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tethered to your baby. >> you say that like it's a bad thing. the benefits of baby wearing, the renewal of the hormones that are needed to keep your blood pressure low, your relationship with your baby interesting and complicated and strong. >> reporter: were your breabies never put down? rarely put down? >> they were rarely put down. >> reporter: in an era of two-career families where parents community for hours and infants are dropped off at day care, it makes this kind of parenting seem utterly unrealistic. >> and here's the computer -- >> reporter: its harshest critics argue attachment parenting enslaves women, especially when they end up breastfeeding kids on demand for years. you're breastfeeding a 3-year-old. a lot of people would say what are you doing? >> i'm breastfeeding a 3-year-old. he's actually 3 1/2. i'm meeting the needs of a child who's almost done being a baby but he's not done. >> reporter: mayim believes so
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much in this back to basics parenting approach she's written a book, "beyond the sling," which argues that meeting a child's every need doesn't spoil them, it fosters security. it's not that big a sacrifice for her. the subtext of this is how could you possibly be happy when you give your life to your children? >> i don't see that. i'm happy because my life is rich with the love of two small people. >> reporter: she knows what she's talking about. after starring as an independent teen on the hit show "blossom." >> it just bothered me i can't come from a normal family. >> reporter: she earned a ph.d. in nero science at ucla, studying hormones and parenting bonding. the most controversial form of which is sleeping with your infant in a family bed. you cited the american pediatric association on nursing. but the american pediatrics association does not recommend co-sleeping. >> that's true.
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>> reporter: and says it's dangerous and can contribute to -- >> yes. >> reporter: -- infant mortality. >> co-sleeping is not difficult. it's not expensive. it is completely normal and natural. >> reporter: but in 2011, after the death of 11 infants in milwaukee alone, the city made a series of shocking public service announcements to get infants back into their cribs. what do you make of that? >> i think it does more harm than good. >> reporter: why? >> it's hitting a very emotional place, and not a rational one. it is completely normal and natural to sleep near your child. go on. >> reporter: but mayim goes well beyond attachment parenting. they're vegan and practice holistic medicine. mommy's milk to cure pink eye. >> here's the lego -- >> reporter: they even go well beyond garden variety homeschooling. >> 2 x 6 piece. you will start learning you can
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do multiplications this way. we home school but we don't keep to a strict curriculum. we let our children's interest and attention span determine a lot of the course of what we do. go ahead, set the pace, i'll try and keep up. >> reporter: mom teaches piano. hebrew and science. dad teaches just about everything else. but perhaps most curiously they practice something called elimination communication. or diaperless parenting. that's right, no diapers. not even for newborns who tend to pee every 15 minutes. >> what do you say to people who look at you and just go, that's just -- >> thank you for my opinion. it works for us. my child stopped peing in a diaper at 12 months and i've never scraped poop off their butt. have a nice day. >> reporter: why are people so hostile to other people's parenting? >> one of my theorys is we -- women especially have taken office politics and have transported them to our homes.
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and to our social circles. there's a strong -- >> reporter: you're either with me or against me? >> yep, and you're either right or you're wrong. >> reporter: you're either right or you're a horrible mom. >> for sure. >> reporter: this style parenting clearly requires a lot of time spent at home, something she can't do while starring in "the big bang theory." >> sheldon you're ruining boyfriend/girlfriend sing-along night. >> reporter: her husband is the one at home currently attached to the kids. who does the dishes? >> um, dad. >> reporter: who does the laundry? >> dad. >> reporter: people do look at you and they assume, she's a high-priced tv star, of course she can parent in this way. >> none of my friends are actors. i'm a normal person who really believes in this style of parenting because it works for our family. but it's not a life of privilege. it's not something you need a lot of the money to do and we do not use a lot of money to parent this way. >> reporter: and very frugal. >> for us, it looks like a lot of things. it looks like buying their
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clothing at thrift stores. it looks like not having a dozen pairs of shoes. >> reporter: you play baseball? oh, nice catch. >> reporter: mayim is the first to admit her style of parenting is not for everyone. >> it is a lot of sacrifice and that to me being a parent is sacrifice no matter how you do it. i don't feel like i'm sacrificing my sanity, my mental health. i don't feel like i'm laying my marriage on an altar. >> reporter: instead, she feels, together, they're parenting on the outer edges of a philosophy we can all believe in. a willingness to do whatever it takes for the sake of the kids. for "nightline," i'm juju chang, in los angeles. >> and adorable happy kids they seem to be. thanks to juju. straight ahead, oh, to be young and royal and in the caribbean. island hopping with prince harry when we return. what's the matter? uh, trouble with a car insurance claim. ah, claim trouble. [ dennis ] you should just switch to allstate, and get their new claim satisfaction guarantee. hey, he's right man. [ dennis ] only allstate puts their money where their mouth is.
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single, ginger-haired military man with strong spirit and eye for a party, up wardly mobile with great career prospects seeks wanna be princesses of all sorts. since his brother settled down, inni england's prince harry is the
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last guy who needs to place a singles ad especially when celebrating the jubilee and meeting new fans in exotic places. abc's bob woodruff is along with the prince. >> reporter: forget partying like a rock star when you can party with a prince. from belllize to the ba ham mas, everyone seems to be wild about prince harry. >> more noise from this side, please. >> reporter: on his first official tour on behalf of the queen, he is dancing. drinking. and dazzling crowds along the way. >> he has green eyes. >> hey, i -- >> does he have green eyes? >> well, either green or -- >> reporter: wearing casual clothing and his dancing shoes, he tested local rum and beer in belize. looking more like a local than a
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prince. >> the girls were screaming for him like a pop star. >> reporter: he is arguably the world's most eligible bachelor. even the reigning miss bahamas is calling him hot. >> she spoke of having a crush on prince harry and that she'd love to marry him and i think harry is just further cementing his image as the world's most eligible bachelor. >> reporter: this man is officially on the market. but all his prince charming aside, harry is playing a serious royal role. he is representing his grandmother, celebrating the queen's 60 years on the throne in british commonwealths where she is still considered head of state. the island hopping prince is on a ten-day jubilee tour. first stop, belize, where he brought new energy to the royal tradition known as the walk-about. >> it started in the '70s. >> reporter: he also visited a mayan temple. it was in the bahamas, a place princess diana loved and visited in 1982 when she was 6 months
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pregnant that prince harry appeared to pay tribute to his mother's love of children. >> he just embraced the people. he became a child when he talked to the children. >> reporter: this people's prince also donned his military garb this weekend. a top gun apache helicopter pilot, he says he wants to get back to afghanistan. for years, harry was living in the shadow of his brother. and a bit on the edge, partying his way through london. today, it seems he is a mature man, making his royal debut of sorts. step one in rebuilding his rebel reputation. >> this is a very big deal for prince harry. this is his first official overseas trip, where he is traveling alone, representing the queen, and the crown. from what we've seen, he's been a huge hit. >> reporter: with his brother prince william settling into a new marriage and his duties as future king, it's prince harry who the world seems to be watching. for "nightline," i'm bob woodruff, traveling with prince harry in jamaica. >> thank you, bob. enjoy the sun down there. thank you for watching abc news. we hope you


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